multitasking


multitasking
/mul'tee tas"king, -tah"sking, mul'tuy-/, n. Computers.
the concurrent or interleaved execution of two or more jobs by a single CPU.
[MULTI- + TASKING]

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Mode of computer operation in which the computer works on multiple tasks at the same time.

A task is a computer program (or part of a program) that can be run as a separate entity. On a single-processor system, the CPU can perform preemptive (also called time slicing or time sharing) multitasking, where it executes part of one program, then switches to another program, and then returns to the first one. On multiprocessing systems, each processor can handle a separate task.

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      the running of two or more programs (sets of instructions) in one computer (computer program) at the same time. Multitasking is used to keep all of a computer's resources at work as much of the time as possible. It is controlled by the operating system (q.v.), which loads programs into the computer for processing and oversees their execution until they are finished.

      Multitasking involves overlapping and interleaving the execution of several programs. This is often achieved by capitalizing on the difference between a computer's rapid processing capacity and the slower rates of its input/output devices. While the computer is reading data from a magnetic disk at a fairly limited rate, for example, its powerful central processor can execute at high speed another program that involves extensive calculations but very little input. Operating systems coordinate the competing demands of various programs in a variety of ways. Two programs can be executed on a small computer using a foreground/background system, in which the computer executes the instructions of one program only in between the times it devotes to running another program of higher priority. Such a system makes use of idle times in some tasks, such as the minute delays between keyboard entries, to execute instructions in the background program. In many multitasking operations, a computer's microprocessors switch their attention back and forth between different programs in fractions of seconds.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • multitasking — mul‧ti‧task‧ing [ˈmʌltɪˌtɑːskɪŋ ǁ ˌtæs ] also multi tasking noun [uncountable] 1. COMPUTING when a computer runs more than one program at the same time on a single processor (= the central most important part of the computer); = MULTIPROCESSING …   Financial and business terms

  • Multitasking — may refer to any of the following: Computer multitasking the apparent simultaneous performance of two or more tasks by a computer s central processing unit Media multitasking could involve using a computer, mp3, or any other form of media in… …   Wikipedia

  • multitasking — (izg. multitásking) ž DEFINICIJA term. višezadaćnost, v. ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • multitasking — also multi tasking, 1966, originally in computing, from MULTI (Cf. multi ) + tasking (see TASK (Cf. task)). Of humans, by 1998. Related: Multitask (v.). As an adjective, multi task is recorded from 1954 in a non computer mechanical context …   Etymology dictionary

  • multitasking — /multiˈtaskin(g), ingl. ˌmʌltɪˈt2ːskɪŋ/ [vc. ingl., comp. di multi «multi » e tasking, dal v. to task «assegnare un compito» o, più precisamente, un «programma»] s. m. inv. (elab.) multiprogrammazione …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • multitasking — ► NOUN Computing ▪ the execution of more than one program or task simultaneously …   English terms dictionary

  • Multitasking — Der Begriff Multitasking [ˌmʌltiˈtɑːskɪŋ] (engl.) bzw. Mehrprozessbetrieb bezeichnet die Fähigkeit eines Betriebssystems, mehrere Aufgaben (Tasks) nebenläufig auszuführen. Dabei werden die verschiedenen Prozesse in so kurzen Abständen immer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Multitasking — Mụl|ti|tas|king […ta:s… , mʊlti ta:s…, auch: maltɪ ta:skɪŋ ], das; [s] [engl. multitasking, zu: task = Aufgabe] (EDV): 1. gleichzeitiges Abarbeiten mehrerer Tasks in einem Computer. 2. gleichzeitiges Verrichten mehrerer Tätigkeiten. * * *… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • multitasking — mul|ti|task|ing [ˈmʌltiˌta:skıŋ US ˌtæs ] n [U] 1.) a computer s ability to do more than one job at a time 2.) when a person does more than one thing at a time ▪ Women are traditionally supposed to be good at multitasking …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Multitasking — Mul|ti|tas|king [mʌlti tɑ:skiŋ] das; [s] <aus gleichbed. engl. multitasking, zu task »Auftrag«> das gleichzeitige Abarbeiten mehrerer ↑Tasks in einem Computer (EDV) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch


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